Our Re-imagine Your Street initiative re-imagines the suburban street as a lively, active and connected group of households. It creates common public spaces on verges, front gardens, or other pieces of unused land, for neighbours to meet, make new friends and lasting connections.
By making our streets great places to gather, share meals, play and get to know each other, it demonstrates that having spaces in common does improve our quality of life.
The Henry Project supported two streets in the Fremantle area to raise over $11K in funds, through a matched crowdfunding campaign, to design and build their own common spaces.
In addition to a successful crowdfunding campaign where residents petitioned their social network for support, the outcomes so far from this initiative have been beyond expectations:
meeting each other
One street had residents who had lived on the street for 15+ years, but did not know each other. After our first community engagement event, attended by over 15 households, they created a Facebook page and Whatsapp group to communicate together.
formal and informal events
They have held several impromptu barbeques, dinners and parties on their street, in addition to formally planned social events such as a street pizza party, a Halloween event and a street Christmas party.
“ Spring is here! M has an open invitation to neighbours for a BBQ on his driveway around 5.30pm today. Bring Your Own food to cook or drop by for a chat if you already have dinner plans! Love our street!”
more spaces to gather
Several households have built out their own verges to create seating areas, gardens and playgrounds, used by children from all along the street.
planning bigger projects
They have decided to petition the local council to develop a stormwater sump on their street into a pocket neighbourhood park, and are investigating other unused parcels of land in their area for common use.
“Good new folks. Our petition to the Council will be discussed at their next meeting and J will be our voice to persuade the Council to agree to our request to fix the sump. We will go along for obvious support but gee, it would be good if a crowd of us attended as support. It is for our future benefit. I will post details of the time the meeting occurs once I find out.”
helping each other out
They have looked after each other’s pets, offered spare rooms to family members visiting neighbours, and helped each other with everyday household tasks.
“Hey guys, Brodie, our partially deaf short hair border collie has gone walkabout this morning as I was trying to leave for work and a neighbour’s dog came visiting. If you see him around, please pop him back behind our driveway gate. Thanks !!”
They offer each other unused household items, and have started a resources sharing group to make this easier.
"Hi! I have so much stuff I don’t use. If anyone wants to come have a look and barter, swap or have for free, feel free to come by. Whatever is not collected will be sold/given away at a garage sale I will have tomorrow."
keeping each other safe
They keep each other informed about unwanted behaviour in their area.
“WARNING: There were apparently some attempted car break-ins last night at 3am past our roundabout. My car is regularly done over at 3am, usually just for small change but they'll take the good stuff if you leave it in the car!”
From The Henry Project, and on behalf of the residents of Davies St, Beaconsfield, and Clarke St, Hilton, we extend a very warm and heartfelt 'thank you' to the following supporters who have made this project possible:
Galati Group, Don Fini, Annette Willis, Mary Burns, Di Marney, Fiona Blaauw , Mari Takla, Xan Ashbury, Meredith Wright, Bradley Pettitt, Liesbeth Goedhart , Charlene Nguyen, Peter Koffel, Janet Power, Jessie Williams, Amy Thom, David Arrowsmith, Lisa van Halteren, Rick Carter, Irene Wringe, Laetitia & Greg Baronie - Taylor, Karen Wayne, Janice Pounder, Romaine Fitzgerald, Sam & Cassy Ludowyk, Pauline Farrell, Eduardo Cosa, Jack Cheong, Clare Mengler, Katy Mills, Josh Wilson, Muna Salama, Rob Caslick, Sam Wainwright, Pierre Yang MLC JP, Stephanie Arrowsmith, Simone McGurk, Christina Kadmos, Ramsis Salama, Andrew Sullivan, Jane Stratton, Tim Frodsham, Shane & Joey Bal Kearney , Jo Trevelyan, Jane Korman, Peta Cervenka, Jim & Patricia Meckelburg, Maureen Maher, James Rendel, Corinne Perrin, Elizabeth Cheong.
We also acknowledge the few supporters who wished to remain anonymous, but without whose generous contribution we wouldn't have got across the line. Lastly, this initiative wouldn't have been possible without the initial backing of Huddle Insurance, who contributed the first $5,000 to this project. Huddle Insurance are an Australian company with a belief that insurance can be a force for good. Each year, Huddle dedicates surplus profit from low claims to help customers unleash their inner purpose, and support change-making projects (just like this one). We thank them for their backing and for making it their remit to be positive agents for good in our community.
If you are an organisation or individual interested in bringing this initiative to your neighbourhood, we would love to hear from you: please get in touch.